African Association 2021 award winners




Wale Adesanya – Business Achievement Leadership Award

Wale AdeSanya

Wale AdeSanya is the National Chairman of the Nigerian and Canadian Business Network. He has been an Investment and Insurance Executive in Canada for over 30 years.

Although Wale Adesanya has lived in Canada for more than 40 years, Nigeria is topmost on his mind. In fact, he feels blessed and proud to be a Nigerian and as such, has attracted over $200 millions investment dollars to Nigeria.

King Wale Adesanya is also the President of ADE FINANCIAL GROUP, an Investment and Insurance Brokerage. He is a known philanthropist, whose philanthropic venture saw the founding of the

As the CEO of the organization, he passionately raises funds for the underprivileged to obtain heats surgery, a life and death situation.

He is also on the Board of Directors for ACPAC.CA.

King Adesanya is credited for starting live Rap Music in Ottawa and served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Urban Music Festival in Ottawa.

Hindia Mohamoud – Excellence Legacy award

Hindia Mohamoud

Mohamoud has close to twenty years of experience with building community solutions through research, partnership development, and program design.  She is currently the director of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP), where she is responsible for facilitating the establishment and implementation of community-wide vision and strategy for improving the settlement and integration of immigrants in Ottawa. 

3. MS. LILY OBINA – Political Leadership Legacy Award

Lily Obinna

She had previously worked as the director of research at the Social Planning Council and as a Director of Impact and Investment at United Way/Centraide Ottawa.

Hindia has a varied academic background, she holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Ottawa, as well as various diplomas in Business, Management, Technology, and Communication. 

Hindia is a multilinguist, she speaks four international languages, including both official languages. She is a community development personality, who is widely engaged with many local social development processes and activities.  She currently serves as a member of the City for all Women’s Initiative (CAWI), she is also a regular volunteer at a local food bank.

Ms. Lily Obina is a graduate of Dalhousie University, with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA).  She has over 17 years managing large mission critical multi-million dollar diverse projects in varied global industries. She is also a certified Project Management Professional.

Ms. Obina currently works as a Senior Project Executive providing oversight for a $253 Million Passport Program for Immigration Refugee & Citizenship Canada (IRCC). She has worked in a number of senior management positions as; Director of Operations, Director of Delivery, Senior Program Manager, Project Manager and as an Instructor.

She is a former Board of Director for Black Women Civic Engagement Network (BWCEN)

Ms. Obina was a Recipient of the 2014 Global Community Alliance Community Builder Award and Top 100 Black Canadian Role Model Awards in 2015. She has excellent ability to deal with the public as demonstrated by her running for City Council in 2010 and 2014 and placing second.

She was recently appointed as Board of Director on the Ontario Arts Council by the Ontario Conservative Party.

4. Mr. Pierre Dadjo – Visionary & Leadership Legacy

Pierre Dadjo

Mr. Pierre Dadjo is a well-known and well-respected community leader within the Francophones outside Quebec, Canada, a competent and experienced manager, an outstanding organizer, a social justice and human rights activist and a man with a missionary vocation.

Mr. DADJO is the founder of the Economic and Social Council of Ottawa-Carleton (CESOC) which he led for 20 years. In 2002, his organizational leadership, his talents as a financial and human resources manager propelled the CESOC into the best organization of the year by winning the Laurier Prize from ACFO Ottawa Inc.

Mr. DADJO’s teamwork qualities and unifying vision have enabled CESOC, under his leadership, to build a well-structured and very solid community organization. CESOC without any financial and human resources in 1992 when it was founded reached in 2012 a budget of more than 2 million dollars, more than 37 employees, a central office and 7 satellite offices. CESOC has become the main organization providing host program, settlement and integration services for French-speaking newcomers and immigrants in Eastern Ontario and has repercussions in all Francophone communities outside of Quebec.

When it comes to basic needs for the economic development and social well-being of a community, Mr. DADJO spares no effort in working hard to achieve the goals. Thus, we can count to the assets of Mr. DADJO several achievements including the legal victory he won against Citizenship and Immigration Canada which gave the right to Francophone immigrants to obtain a host program, settlement and integration and employment services in French. Since this resounding victory, Francophones outside of Quebec have developed several structuring tools for economic, cultural, social and professional development for newcomers and immigrants. M. DADJO was awarded by the RPNE with the Mathieu De Costa Prize in 2015.

In 2016, Mr. DADJO became an advisor listened to in his community and to his target clientele and works tirelessly in financial education.

Knowing that money is of great importance in human life, Mr. DADJO believes that a good knowledge of financial tools and their applications are essential to avoid individual and family poverty and to build strong and united communities.

5. Haoua Inoua – Healthcare & Women Empowerment Legacy Award

Haoua Inoua

Haoua Inoua is the Manager of Education and Prevention at AIDS Committee of Ottawa based in Ottawa, Ontario. She was formerly the African Caribbean Support Worker of the same organization. Originally from Chad, she has been living in Canada since the mid-1990s. As a person impacted by HIV, she is a fierce human rights advocate and activist. In her work, she has been fortunate to have met many people who are also impacted by HIV/AIDS. Having come to realize the effects of social determinants of health—employment, housing, poverty, immigration, etc.—have on the spread of HIV and on the lives of PHA,She has been volunteering at the AIDS Committee of Ottawa since 1999, focusing on advocacy, activism, peer support, education and health promotion.

In recognition of her exceptional efforts to improve the wellbeing of African, Caribbean and Black people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) in Ontario, Haoua was one of the two Africans awarded with the ACCHO Humanitarian Award in 2008.

Haoua has served as a member of African and Caribbean Health Network in Ottawa, a board member of Lowertown Community Resource Centre, and member of CAWI (City of all Women Initiative) in Ottawa. She has also worked at Somerset West Community Health Centre in Ottawa, working on HIV/AIDS prevention and support within African and Caribbean communities.

Some years ago, Haoua helped to form the first African-Caribbean women’s peer support group in Ottawa. The group works to create a special place for African and Caribbean women living with HIV/AIDS to share their experiences about living with HIV/AIDS, support each other and share information and resources.

Currently, Haoua is a support and strategy worker at the AIDS Committee of Ottawa (ACO), and she is also a board member of ACCHO and a member of the International AIDS Society (IAS).

Haoua is certain that if people have fair and equal access to health and social services and other important resources, they can improve their quality of life. For that reason, she has been, and will continue to be, devoted and dedicated to fighting for prevention, support, care and treatment for ACB (African, Caribbean and other Black people) and all communities impacted by HIV/AIDS.

6. Jocelyne Constant – Elder Community Builder Award

Jocelyne Constant

Jocelyne Constant has been a resident of Ottawa for over 30 years. She is very active socially and politically. Very fluent in both official languages, she has a deep commitment to both local and broader communities. She has contributed to various Government and Private Sector Assignments. She is also very involved in bridging the gaps between various racial and cultural communities through her work with different boards, committees and subcommittees across Canada.

Jocelyne had in the past, served as Champion with Outreach Recruitment Initiative for Ottawa Police Services. She also worked as Ambassador for the Beyond Bridges Initiative with Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Advocacy chair for the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) and past Foster parent with CAS. She has a strong and positive influence on immigrant youth. Her belief in the importance of education has led her to use her free time as a co-trainer and a facilitator in parental conflict resolution to bring better understanding to the Child Welfare System.

As a community activist, Jocelyne has also sat on various Board of Governors promoting diversity and cultural values. Her concerns for the welfare of the black community have been reflected by her active involvement in developing working papers and proposals for organizational capacities.

Jocelyne’s commitment in helping children and youth and Immigrant families provides a sense of social security for new immigrants in the Ottawa region. Her vision of inclusion, equality in services and equity of outcomes brings a lot of values to her leadership capacity. For her, volunteerism is extremely rewarding – creating great network opportunities, working with great teams, providing learning and teaching moments about the mechanism of the Canadian social tissues – have all enhanced her community service. She has also been involved in developing governance applications with Sustainable Development Goals.

Jocelyne has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Dr. Martin Luther King: Dream Keepers Award; United Way; YMCA Women of Distinction; Women Leadership Recognition; Ambassador of Peace for the Global Peace Organization; Diamond Laureate & Valuable Elder Recognition – to name a few. 

Jocelyne believes that change is everyone’s responsibility – and should start from each home and community. She often describes her commitment with a citation by Francis Blanche:

“It is better to set perfection and miss it than to aim for mediocrity and achieve it”  

“Il vaut mieux fixer la perfection et la manquer que de viser la médiocrité et l’atteindre”

7. Wilfrid Bitchota – Elder Community Builder Award

Wilfrid Bitchota

Wilfrid Bitchota could be said to have been born a caregiver. At the age of eight, when children his age were still only dreaming of owning the latest fashionable game, Wilfrid was already thinking of one thing: opening an orphanage to welcome those for whom life had not always been kind. He was already convinced that his mission in this world was to lend a hand to his fellow humans, to help them get up, to give them advice and support to lead a dignified life.

Years later, with a nursing degree from the University of Ottawa and a degree in Computer Science from the University of Québec at Montreal, Wilfrid naturally turned to social and community work. He first founded WB International with the goal of helping orphans around the world, starting with Africa. On the proposal of the Board of Directors, WB International became Cooperation Integration Canada (CICAN), acting in Canada for the benefit of newcomers. The goal remained the same, centered on humanity.

Wilfrid is currently the Executive Director of CICAN. In all of the organization’s fifteen years of existence, it would be difficult to accurately evaluate all the work that has been successfully carried out by the organization. Among other achievements, CICAN has lifted thousands of young people up, by supporting them in terms of employability and social inclusion. It has also supported many families both financially and humanly; it has organized hundreds of forums and workshops on topics of direct concern to newcomers; it has provided internship opportunities for young newcomers wishing to acquire their first Canadian experience, as well as free and individualized French courses for some others.

Wilfrid’s philosophy of life is: ‘Sharing to grow and a focus on results’. To Wilfrid, serving humanity was not learnt on the job, it was an inborn gift.

8. José Aggrey – Elder Community Builder Award

José Aggrey

José Aggrey, an Ashante, originally from Kumasi, Ghana, has lived and worked in Ottawa for over 40 years. As an Economist in various government departments, he worked as an accomplished Strategic Planner, Strategic Thinker and Business Planner, with the Federal Government of Canada Public Service for 29 years.

With a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Economics; a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology; a Diploma in International Development; a Certificate in Conflict Resolution in Multicultural Community; and, a Certificate in Strategic Leadership, José’s diverse educational backgrounds, made it possible for him to be elected and appointed to serve in various public capacities:

  • He was elected President of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE), which is the third largest Bargaining Agent of the Federal Government of Canada;
  • In 2006, he was appointed by the Governor-In-Council to the Public Service Pensions Advisory Committee that advises the President of the Treasury Board on the administration and other pension-related matters, a position he held between 2006 – 2008;
  • He played a major role in creating the Canadian Public Sector Quality Association, now known as the Canadian Public Sector Excellence Network, and was elected the First Vice President.

For over 40 years, José has volunteered for, or, has been involved in creating various organizations in the Greater Ottawa Community. These include:

The creation of New Vision Canada, a Not-For-Profit organization in February 1989, which was a vehicle to promote non-partisan political education among minorities, and to encourage them to participate fully at all levels in the Canadian political process. While serving in this capacity, José’s  proposal of a Constitutional Amendment regarding the Government of Canada’s proposal for a renewed Canada, and his presentation before the Special Joint Committee of the Senate and the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in 1992, resulted in a unique opportunity on behalf of our Community and New Vision Canada.

José established the National Council of Ghanaian–Canadians (NCGC) to provide them a voice to convey their interests and concerns to the different levels of government in their communities, and served as President of the Ghanaian Association of Ottawa for 10 years. He was elected Chair of Ontario Racial Minorities Organizing Committee for Training between 1995-1996. He also served as Head of all Volunteers with the National Capital Commission (NCC) for Canada Day, July 1 Celebration, for 9 years.

José served as a Member of the City of Ottawa’s Advisory Committee on Visible Minorities for 7 years and organized the City’s first Employment Opportunities for Visible Minorities in the National Capital Region. This community initiative was considered by the Federal Minister of Manpower and Employment seminal and the first of its kind at the Municipal level in Canada.

Despite his public engagements, José is very social. He is a passionate Salsa Dancer who has, through his passion, equally contributed to the social development of the community. In 2000, he organized the first Salsa Congress in Ottawa, and followed it up by organizing the first ever Salsa Dance Performance on Canada Day Celebration of July 1, 2001 on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. He also organized the first Salsa Dance Performances during Winterlude events in Ottawa in two consecutive years, 2002-2003.

José Aggrey is happily retired.

9. Sameha Ahmed – Youth Legacy Award

Sameha Ahmed is the founder of No Peace Until Justice, a youth-led organization that demands an end to anti-Black racism and all forms of oppression in Canada.

She currently works as a youth consultant on an anti-oppressive- anti racism initiative with a local organization.

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